Betting on politics: US midterm elections

Cynthia Nixon © Getty images
Cynthia Nixon: an upstart for governor of New York

In less than four months’ time, America will go to the polls across the country in the midterm elections. Until now the only active markets have been those on control of the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as a market on whether Andrew Cuomo will be able to fend off a challenge from the upstart Cynthia Nixon as New York governor. However, Betfair’s markets on the 35 Senate races that will take place this autumn are finally starting to attract some punters.

Even if Trump’s ratings are looking slightly less dire than they were a few months ago, I’m still bullish on the Democrats’ chances. I recommend that you take the 1.15 (87%) on the Democrats in Delaware. Not only is this a state that Hillary Clinton carried comfortably two years ago, but the incumbent Senator Thomas Carper has an approval rating of 58%. The Republicans’ lack of confidence is shown by the fact that they haven’t been able to attract any top-quality candidates.

Pennsylvania should also be relatively straightforward for the Democrats. Even though Trump narrowly managed to carry the state at the last election, its senator Bob Casey has had consistent leads of around 15% in the polls over his opponent, Lou Barletta. I therefore think that the offered odds of 1.19 (84%) on Betfair are generous, and you should snap them up.

Similarly, in Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin has double-digit polling leads against the two potential Republican challengers, which should see her through. I’d therefore bet on the Democats winning this race at 1.29 (78%).

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